Co-trainer Shannon Hope named a couple of possible Group 1 autumn targets for the stable’s improving young filly Sabatini who again stepped up to the mark with a win in the Angus Armanasco Stakes 2015 at Caulfield Racecourse.
The three-year-old daughter of Street Cry is on the up-and-up recording back-to-back Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival wins at Caulfield since her third to Amicus in the Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) at the track last October.
First-up on February 14 she won the Group 3 Kevin Hayes Stakes (1200m) and was impressive again a fortnight later on Blue Diamond Stakes Day winning the $200,000 Group 2 Angus Armanasco Stakes (1400m) after coming from off the speed.
On the line she had three-quarters of a length to spare over the Robert Smerdon-trained Fontein Ruby ($5.50), who improved one on her third in the Kevin Hayes Stakes, with Mick Price’s last start Adelaide winner Samartested ($17) a nose away third.
It was a gun ride from winning hoop Nicholas Hall, recently back from a nasty leg injury suffered during a fall in trackwork at Caulfield, who had the best backed runner on track jumping away nicely from the inside barrier.
The pace certainly suited the up front runners with a battle going on for the early lead in the Angus Armanasco this year.
Eventual runner-up Fontein Ruby got posted three wide on the outside but moved to the top leading from Samartested with Boundary in third.
Sabatini ($3.30) meanwhile was given a patient ride posted fifth or sixth but on the rails saving ground.
Fontein Ruby, advantaged by the tempo, was the first into the straight with Sabatini eased to the outside, poised for her run.
She raced up and went to the front with 50m to go before drawing clear to score her second Group win on the trot and stamp herself as a good filly.
“She’s come back fantastic,” Hall said post-win.
“Really easy to give the gun to. She’s an intelligent horse….maneuvers her way around the field and lets down so good.”
It was a big win for the punters too with a massive plonk on her to win.
She didn’t explode away however so it was still good marks for the place-getters going forward.
A top filly who just keeps delivering the goods, Sabatini could now head to the $220,000 Group 2 Kewney Stakes (1400m) on Newmarket Handicap Day at Flemington on March 14.
Alternatively she could be stepped up to elite level company for a shot at the $600,000 Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens in Sydney on the same day, Shannon also considering the $400,000 Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) at Morphettville in Adelaide on April 26.
“Every time we raise the bar she steps up,” Shannon said.
“She’s very easy to train.
“We got a good barrier (today). She’s had a bit of luck lately drawing good barriers.
“We’ll just weight up where to go with her now.
“We could go to the Kewney or aim for the Robert Sangster or ever the Coolmore, but that may be a little bit ambitious just yet.
“She can only do what she can do”
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2015 Angus Armanasco Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Caulfield Race 3 – 28/02/2015
|1||2||SABATINI||Lee & Shannon Hope||Nicholas Hall||–||1||57.5kg||$3.30F|
|2||1||FONTEIN RUBY||Robert Smerdon||Mark Zahra||1L||6||58.5kg||$5|
|3||7||SAMARTESTED||Mick Price||Dwayne Dunn||1.1L||8||55kg||$15|
|4||8||BOTTLE OF SMOKE||Mick Price||Damien Oliver||2.6L||4||55kg||$4.80|
|5||4||THINKING OF YOU (NZ)||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||2.7L||10||55kg||$9.50|
|6||3||MARPLE MISS||Kris Lees||Chad Schofield||2.9L||5||55.5kg||$7|
|7||5||MOSSBEAT||Robbie Griffiths||Jamie Mott||3.2L||7||55kg||$26|
|8||11||FINDA FITTER FILLY||John & Chris Ledger||Damian Lane||4.45L||11||55kg||$71|
|9||6||BOUNDARY||Heath Conners||Craig Williams||5.7L||3||55kg||$26|
|10||9||JAPHILS||John Sadler||Ben Melham||5.9L||9||55kg||$41|
|11||10||FANTASY EIGHT||Wendy Kelly||Vlad Duric||7.65L||2||55kg||$61|